A permanent modular-style classroom building was installed at Sutherlin Middle School over the summer to accommodate the middle school’s first class of sixth-grade students.

Last February, Sutherlin School District voted to restructure its grade levels in order to better serve its students. Under the restructuring plan, third graders were moved from East Primary School to West Intermediate School and sixth graders were moved from the West Intermediate School to Sutherlin Middle School, said Terry Prestianni, superintendent of Sutherlin School District.

“Growth in certain populations made it necessary for us to lighten the load at our primary school,” Prestianni said. “It allowed us to be more flexible in where we placed people.”

Modular structures are portable and can be installed much quicker than building a completely new structure. The new modular is slated to be finished Aug. 16 after last-minute touches are added, such as the ADA-compliant ramp and a fresh coat of paint, said Jon Martz, Principal of Sutherlin Middle School.

The modular includes two classrooms and two restrooms and will house two of the four sixth-grade classrooms.

“We’re going to have 120 new sixth graders coming into the building, so we wanted to make sure we had enough restrooms for all of our students,” Martz said.

The new addition is 65 feet long and 30 feet wide and was constructed by Modern Building Systems of Aumsville. Prestianni estimates the construction costs fell around $200,000.

“It’s located right in front of our parking lot,” Martz said. “We chose that position because it wasn’t going to be disruptive to our campus as a whole and we were able to maintain all the parking spaces.”

Aside from the new building, the school had to make some other changes to make room for the new students on campus.

Martz brought in four teachers from West Intermediate School to teach the new sixth-grade class. The lunch period was also restructured so that lunch lines aren’t too long for students.

“We have changed our lunch process … we’re going to have sixth-grade students go through the line with about half of our seventh graders,” Martz said. “We’ve opened up our gym now every day at lunch, so as soon as our sixth and seventh graders and our seventh and eighth graders are done eating, they’ll be able to go up to the gym right when they’re done with lunch.”

Martz also had one of the school’s Physical Education and technology teachers tackle PE classes only.

“I think that we’re excited to have the additional space, and when the sixth-grade students come in, I think it’s really going to help us be able to have our math and our English better vertical alignment as far as instruction goes and the curriculum,” Martz said.

Hannah Kanik is a general assignment reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at hkanik@nrtoday.com and 541-957-4210.

Or follow her on Twitter @hannah_kanik.

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Hannah Kanik is the Charles Snowden intern at The News-Review.

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